Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has issued registration certificate to 39 entities for operating telecommunication value-added services (TVAS).
The entities received the registration certificate based on recommendations made by an evaluation committee, a senior official of the commission told New Age.
In July this year, TVAS providers were asked to submit applications to get registration certificate from the telecom regulator.
Under the BTRC guidelines issued in 2017, only the entities which get registration certificate from the regulator can be able to run TVAS business.
TVAS refers to those telecommunication services, other than the core services (voice call, SMS, data), which use and add value to the core telecommunication services, and electronically consumable and deliverable though any access network services using direct operator billing and/or any approved payment method by central bank.
TVAS includes m-health, caller ring back tone and location-based services.
The companies which have secured registration certificate includes Jhora TEK, Celltek Prodigi, Idea Solutions, Healthcare Information System, Sheba Technologies, Aurko Technologies, LifeChord, Live Media, RHS Innovations, VU Mobile, Solquest and Pioneer People.
Apart from the 39 companies, applications of several other entities are under BTRC scrutiny.
The evaluation was conducted under the Regulatory Guidelines for Issuance of Registration Certificate for Providing Telecommunication Value Added Services in Bangladesh.
The telecom regulator on July 5 this year invited applications from the competent organisations to grant registration certificate for running TVAS business.
More entities would get TVAS registration as there is no limit set on the number of registration certificate.
The commission formulated the guidelines with a view to bringing discipline in the overcrowded value-added service business and bringing the service providers under regulatory framework.
Taking away huge amount of fund from Bangladesh by an Indian entity with a very small amount of investment in the country was among other reasons for the guidelines formulation.
Following surfacing of the incident, BTRC formulated guidelines allowing foreign entities to hold maximum 70 per cent stake in a TVAS entity, making local partnership a must for a foreign entity.
Besides, TVAS providers will have to share 5.5 per cent of their gross revenue with the government and will have to deposit 1 per cent of their gross revenue in the government’s social obligation fund from the third year of the start of their operation. Earlier there was no such provision for the TVAS providers.
Revenue sharing ratio between TVAS providers and the access network operators including mobile phone operators would be within the range of 40 per cent to 60 per cent.
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